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blood; but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. But this is the proper way, to promote individual and general good. And for the enemies of Zion to be conquered, and to throw down their weapons of rebellion, is the only possible way to be blessed. Their submission is a victory more glorious than ever was obtained by all the legions of earth. As he that is a servant of Christ is free, and is brought into the glorious liberty of the sons of God; so the subjects of Zion and all her captives, have their names enrolled in the Lamb's book of life.
4th. Many and greatly varied are the excellent things, which may be said concerning Zion. Abraham and Moses, Jeremiah and David, John and Paul, Edwards and Whitfield, and thousands of other heaven-born souls, and sons of God, were worthies, who will compare with, and outshine all the kings and nobles of this world. Such were glorious minds, shining brightly in their heavenly armour. The graces of Christian meekness and humility, and of prayer in faith, ascend and tower up to the heavens, and draw down blessings on churches and the world, to strengthen, beautify, and enlarge the borders of Zion. The holy angels of God, when need requires, sally out of their spacious, lofty tower, for her defence and protection, and for the dismay and destruction of her enemies. They are guards, who keep a constant watch by day and by night; and never did one of them desert to the enemy, or fall asleep on his post. They fore-warn the people of Zion of danger; rescue them from threatening ruin ; and when any become martyrs for the faith, they give their souls a glorious escort to Abraham's bosom. Think of Lot, Moses, and Lazarus. The prayers of the saints, through the grace of God, will not only avail much, and be as shields to ward off the weapons of the enemy; but legions of heavenly warriours are her champions. What is yet accomplished, is but the beginning of what is yet to be done.
5th. We may see, that Zion is safe in the midst of dangers. No martyr for the truth was ever safer, than when in the midst of flames. Daniel was safe in the lion's den; so were Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego, when cast into the fiery furnace. Equally secure, and in the hands of the same God, were all those who counted not their lives dear, though suffering unto death. The powers of earth and of hell, with all their cunning and malice, cannot pluck a soldier of the cross out of the Father's hand. None will be lost but the sons of perdition, the enemies of Zion. Whether a church be small, or a believer vexed by the devil; all is well, for thy God, o Zion, reigneth; and all his people shall reign with him, and be kings and priests unto him for ever. But happy is that people, whose God is the Lord; for he has them engraven on the palms of his hands. All the redeemed, the ransomed of the Lord, shall be brought home to glory with songs of joy, and shouts of victory; and shall walk the golden streets of the New Jerusalem, the mount Zion above. Yet a little while, and all their trials will be turned to glorious rewards; and for self denial they will have crowns of rejoicing. By obedience and sufferings they are most effectually prepared for their eternal, blessed inheritance. Saints, thy God Jehovah, hath you secure in the hollow of his hand, in time; and will have you encircled in the bosom of his love in eternity, to whom be glory for ever more. Amen.
ORIGIN OF THE CHRISTIAN NAME, AND SUCCESS OF CHRIS
Acts xi. 26.
The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch. DISCIPLE is a word nearly synonimous in its import with the term, scholar. Or, a disciple is one who attends the lectures, and professes the tenets of another. A disciple of Christ, is one who believes his doctrines, imbibes his Spirit, and follows his example. The disciples, or followers of Christ, were first denominated Christians at Antioch, in Syria, in the forty-second year of the Christian era.
This was once considered the third city in the world ; famous for its beauty, greatness, and population. It was built by Antiochus and Seleucius Nicanor, partly on a hill, and partly on a plain. It has the river Orontes in its neighbourhood, with a celebrated grove, called Daphne; whence, to distinguish it from other cities of the same name, it has been called Antiochia, near Daphne. The enemies of the disciples of Christ had used the epithets, Nazarene and Galilean, by way of reproach; and hence some are ready to conclude, they invented the term Christian, as an opprobrious name. But, to me this seems improbable, as they were unwilling to allow that Jesus was the Christ, or the Messiah. The original seems to imply, that the name of Christians was given to the disciples by a divine monition. Doubtless it was afterwards used as a term of reproach by their persecutors, though it was honourable in its meaning and original. In the apostolical age, this epithet
aptly denoted the reliance of the saints on that anointed Prince and Saviour, who was generally rejected with disdain by Jews and Gentiles. It also implied, that they also were partakers of an unction or anointing by the Holy Spirit.
In the present age it is so promiscuously applied to a vast multitude, that it scarcely implies either honour or reproach. They who seriously profess to believe in Christ and obey him, are generally distinguished by other names, whether they are spoken of with respect or in derision. The terms brethren, believers, saints, and faithful, are most commonly used in the New Testament. The saints are so called, on the account of their being renewed and sanctified by the Holy Ghost. They are called brethren, because all who are born again, are one family in Christ, the sons of God in a spiritual sense. They are called believers, because they assent to the truths of divine revelation, and have received Christ as their God and only Saviour. They are called faithful, because they are servants of Christ from the heart, and not in mere externals. In the Christian world, mankind are denominated Christians in a twofold and essentially different sense. They are so called, whether they are so only nominally, or really so. That is, There are those who are Christians in name only, and there are Christians indeed. The name Christian, perhaps, is the most suitable title, or epithet, for all who are the disciples or followers of Christ. But, as particular passages of the sacred scriptures, have, from the ambiguity of language, and the different views of mankind, been variously interpreted by different commentaries, these diversities have given birth to a multiplicity of different sects. Hence the different sects, or denominations, of professed Christians, have been distinguished by different appellations; and these names generally have been derived from the name of the person who was the author, or who was at the head of the new sect or denomination
But Jerusalem is justly styled the mother church. Repentance and remission of sins were to be preached, beginning at Jerusalem. However, the gospel was soon promulged in Judea and Galilee, Samaria, Ethiopia, and Cæsarea.
Churches were soon planted at Antioch and Galatia, Philippi and Thessalonica, Berea and Athens, Corinth, Rome, and Colosse. The seven churches of Asia, also were founded within the first century, and the gospel preached in several other places. For several centuries, the Latin and Greek churches comprised the greater part of Christendom. On the account of their antiquity, their variableness, and scanty history, we have no very satisfactory information concerning any one. The church of Rome, is considered as the most ancient of all the established churches; but the first account of this church is very imperfect. It has not such trophies of scriptural fame as some of the other apostolical churches; although at an early period it was by no means insignificant, either for the number or piety of her converts. I shall proceed to take notice of some of the religious sects, which have sprung up, or denominations of Christians, which have been established, since the days of apostolical and primitive Christianity,
Ist. The Arians first made their appearance in the year of our Lord, 315. They derive their name, and have their peculiar tenets from one Arius, a presbyter of the church of Alexandria. He insisted, that the Son of God was totally and essentially distinct from the Father; the first and noblest of those beings whom God had created; the instrument, by whose subordinate operation, he formed the universe; and therefore, inferiour to the Father both in nature and dignity. He also held, that the Holy Ghost
was not God; but created by the power of the Son. The Arians owned that the Son was the Word; but they denied that Word to have been eternal. They held, that Christ hand nothing of man in him,